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No Chief Financial Person for Two Years?

YEA! seeks stellar manager for finance team

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It’s hard for me to listen to my own excuses.

Time to get it done!
Time to complete the team!
Time to fill this empty seat!

For the past few years, I have searched for what I will call a director of finance and administration.

There is, of course, the standard CFO, but after consultation with Bridgespan, a service created for non-for-profit organizations such as YEA!, the more comprehensive title came into play.

So what is taking so long? Well... it’s me. It has to be.

We have had some false starts and a few folks who went through interviews and then decided they did not want to work that hard, they needed more money than we could offer, or they wanted to commute to Allentown.

And the beat goes on.

I will say that, over time, I took on the mindset that this was just never going to happen. We were not going to have our person; no one would meet the standard; no one would work the way I needed him or her to work; no one really wanted to be my number two.

Indeed, there was chatter in my head that stopped me from securing what the organization and I need to move to the next level.

And why am I sharing this?

Well, we have a very good financial team, but we need a team leader. We need that person who has the fiscal and operational know-how to take YEA! to a 10- or 20-million-dollar institution.

And the side effect? I get to teach, visit schools, go to community events. I get to be a CEO and not a part-time finance person.

And what opened my eyes a bit?

1. We will be announcing a new director of development (fundraising) who has 10 years of fundraising experience and marched in drum corps for 10 years. He is thrilled to be coming to work here, and he is clearly a soon-to-be member of the management team. Frankly, I did not think he was out there, but he was! And we are going to kick some butt with him on the team!

2. I cam taking a course that talks about context. If you are going to an interview thinking there is no way you are going to get the job, well, that’s how you are going to act. Think about it. If you are confident and ready, you charge through the door and almost demand the job. But if you lack confidence or know you are unprepared, you do not show up as the person to be hired.

I have acted similarly with regards to this position. My past is screaming at me so loud that I just can’t believe or see that there is someone out there who will take the finances and administration of YEA! and turn this place into an awesome and effective place to work.

But all that said, I have seen that there is a possibility. I have seen in my personal life that living as if something is going to happen - and living with that context, with integrity, and lining up my actions and behaviors - well... it works!

And this is how I am going about recruiting this Director of Finance and Administration.

I know you are out there!! In fact, I am going to make sure they ready your desk and work area on the third floor. When are you coming?

So here is the job. It is extensive, awesome and important. And it will pay well, but within reason.

I look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for reading.

Thank you,
George Signature

George Hopkins
CEO, Youth Education in the Arts

Managing Director of Finance & Administration 

Reporting to the CEO, the Managing Director of Finance and Administration will implement the infrastructure and systems needed to support strategic objectives. S/he will be responsible for the oversight of administrative and financial systems including finance, accounting, information technology, human resources, communications and physical infrastructure. As a member of the senior management team, the Managing Director of Finance and Administration will be involved in a range of strategic planning and internal initiatives.

S/he will work closely with the CEO and the senior management team to develop YEA!’s strategic plan and, most importantly, guide and assist our young staff in executing this plan.

The Managing Director of Finance and Administration will act as the primary liaison to the board of directors' finance committee, working closely with the committee to strengthen YEA!’s financial position and other items as required. S/he will continually evaluate best industry practices in comparison to internal systems and needed resources, with an eye toward both future needs and budget realities.

This executive will be a deputy director, filling the role of office leader when the CEO is traveling, often for weeks at a time. As for direct reports, the DFA will have at least three, including the Chief Accountant, the Director of Marketing, the Building Manager and other responsibilities as the relationship develops.


Finance and Budgeting 

The Managing Director of Finance and Administration will have overall financial management responsibility, including the review and approval of monthly, quarterly and annual financial reporting materials and metrics for the CEO and board of directors. S/he will oversee budgeting, financial forecasting, cash flow and coordination of audit activities as well as accounts payable and receivable. The ideal candidate will not only be able to reconcile financial activities but should also be skilled at capturing key data and processes in order to demonstrate the relationship between YEA!’s goals and resulting fundraising needs.


The executive will serve as a partner to the CEO on the organization's administrative and operational processes, with a goal of continuously developing and improving systems. S/he must evaluate and improve YEA’s information technology infrastructure, implementing new technologies to support key capabilities as required for future growth and to drive key human resource initiatives. Often, this will all need to occur within a limited budget.

In addition, s/he will have overall responsibility for recruitment of staff. This will include marketing, operations and management of this process. The Managing Director of Finance and Administration will also partner with the CEO and the rest of the management team to ensure that the focus remains on the organization’s mission while maintaining YEA!’s unique culture.


The Managing Director of Finance and Administration will have 10+ years of experience, with at least five years managing the finance and administration of a $5 million to $10 million organization or business unit. The successful candidate will have experience leading planning efforts and running operationally effective organizations that have multiple functional areas. The Managing Director of Finance and Administration must harness technology solutions in order to more quickly and efficiently communicate resources needed for key activities and performance against plans. Working knowledge of public education would be helpful, but not mandatory. Nonprofit experience is a plus, with a strong preference for someone who has operated in a fast-growing environment with a limited budget and resources.

Other Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in financial management and accounting 
  • Allentown resident or willing to relocate 
  • Experience with audit, legal compliance and budget development
  • Organization development, human resources management experience
  • General management skills
  • Proven effectiveness managing others and empowering them to make decisions
  • Technologically savvy with experience overseeing information technology staff/vendors
  • Experience effectively communicating key data, including presentations to senior management, the board of directors or other outside partners/influencers/clients
  • Success seeing beyond the numbers, identifying trends and new possibilities
  • Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree and/or CPA preferred

Personal Characteristics

  • Excellent interpersonal and team skills, extremely collegial 
  • Outstanding communications skills, both written and oral
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness and good judgment
  • Hands-on, leads by example
  • Values diversity of thought, backgrounds and perspective
  • Ability to multi-task while maintaining vigilant attention to details
  • Integrity/ethics beyond reproach
  • Constantly looking to apply best practices
  • Predisposition to mentor and subsequently increase responsibilities as team develops
  • Connection to the mission of YEA!

To Apply

If you are interested in applying for or talking more about this position, please send your resume and a cover letter to YEA! CEO George Hopkins at

Closing Editorial Comment from the CEO and Executive Director

The person selected for this job will be a man or woman who brings very much-needed organization and financial sense to YEA!. For 31 years, I have shepherded this organization from a small non-profit to a $5-million, multi-program service provider.

To move to the next level, we need an executive who has the ability to be a confidant, a leader, a mentor and an excellent manager.

At this point in our existence, the fiscal skills are very, very important. If you are not skilled in this area and not capable of leading a three- or four-person finance department, this is NOT the job for you.

If you do have the fiscal skills, we are also offering the opportunity to join with the leadership team in moving YEA! to a far higher level of existence and service. We have ideas – and we have always had ideas – but we are unable, for now, to execute at the level needed to make a true difference in the world. This is where the operational aspect of the position comes into play.

I would say that unless you have a background in or passion for pageantry or at least youth services, this job will be difficult. Speaking personally, this is not a job for me, it is my life. And although I realize to ask that of a deputy director is extreme in their commitment, I am looking for someone willing to lead the way, play off of my strengths and assist in supporting my weaknesses. I need a partner, not a critic.

And let’s not forget, with weekend events, fundraising and other activities, this is more than a 9-to-5 position.  And therein, this is not suitable for someone looking to slow down or semi-retire. This position is perfect for someone who wants to set the world on fire.

If you need more information or have questions, feel free to write to me at any time at

Thank you,

George Hopkins



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